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Umbria's artistic and landscape treasures by bike

Explore Umbria by bike to discover its natural, historic and artistic treasures: five green itineraries of incomparable beauty.

14 September 2022

Umbria - lush and green - boasts a dense network of evocative cycling itineraries for an active open-air holiday, perfect for experts or beginners thanks to the different degrees of difficulty. Five not to be missed and enchanting routes taking in broad panoramas, jewel-like villages and excellent food and wine.

1. Assisi-Spoleto-Marmore Cycle Way

A splendid 100 km itinerary that sets off from the main historic villages and gradually moves into the heart of nature. The progressively more demanding route requires training and can be taken on racing and hybrid bikes, e-bikes, mountain bikes and gravel bikes. From the starting point in Assisi, you pass through jewel-like villages such as Bevagna, Montefalco, Spello and Trevi. The route then takes in Spoleto and Foligno, where in summer the traditional Festival dei Due Mondi and the Giostra della Quintana are respectively held. The tour passes on down through the meadows and woods in the valley of the River Nera, an area boasting many cycling trails, as far as the spectacular Marmore Waterfalls to end on a fresh, cool note.

2. MTB - The Sibillini Mountains and the three Plains of Castelluccio

The unspoilt nature of the Sibillini Mountains and the National Park of the same name are the setting for this short, medium-difficulty route best for fitter cyclists, which alternates paved and unpaved roads to be travelled on mountain bikes or e-MTBs. It snakes along the slopes of Monte Vettore, with start-finish in Castelluccio di Norcia, at times also following Benedict's Way through places associated with the Saint from Norcia. The ideal period to enjoy this ride is certainly between June and July, when the Castelluccio Plain unleashes the glorious spectacle of prodigious and fragrant multi-colour flowers in bloom.

3. St. Francis’s Way: North Way and South Way

A nature trail in the greenest part of Umbria across the entire region, as well as an evocative spiritual itinerary through the most significant places associated with St. Francis, with Assisi as the final destination. There are two routes, both of which can be enjoyed on road bikes: the one going north is more challenging and recommended for fitter cyclists. It starts from the Sanctuary of La Verna and takes in Città di Castello, Gubbio and Perugia. The other going south is shorter and easier. It starts from Piediluco, on the lake of the same name, and crosses the lower Valnerina area and several places of enormous historical and artistic value such as Spello, Trevi, Spoleto and Foligno. The itinerary also blends with St. Francis's Way covered on foot.

4. Tiber Cycle Way

An 85-kilometer route unwinding entirely along the banks of the River Tiber, starting from Città di Castello in the upper valley of the river with crystal-clear waters and luxuriant vegetation, before reaching Perugia. It is suitable for everyone because it alternates paved and unpaved roads; however, it is advisable to ride a mountain bike or a hybrid bike because there are a number of rather challenging ups and downs. Along the way, Montone, is worth a visit (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy), as well as the Benedictine Abbey of San Salvatore di Montecorona, the town of Umbertide, and of course Perugia, the final destination, with its Etruscan heart and a historic centre rich in art and history.

5. Route 12 - Olive oil and wine on the shores of Lake Trasimeno

A tour around Lake Trasimeno and its placid waters discovering splendid tourist resorts, such as Castiglione del Lago, the start and finish point, Tuoro, Passignano and Monte del Lago. The route is suitable for everyone and follows the Colli del Trasimeno Wine Route and the Umbria PDO Olive Oil Route, two excellent local products you absolutely must experience during tasting stops with producers. Other must-see visits are Palazzo della Corgna in Castiglione del Lago, the Castle of the Knights of Malta in Magione and the characteristic San Feliciano fishing port which also offers fishing tourism experiences.